There are four national parks in Czechia – Krkonoše, Šumava, Českosaské Švýcarsko (Bohemian Switzerland), and Podyjí. We have biked the first three and Podyjí was still missing in our collection. We set our base at Znojmo, nice town close to the border with Austria. Parking in the center of Znojmo was not difficult and any of its squares is a nice place to start and end your trip. This national park is rather small and it does not have too many choices for riding. Bicycles are allowed only on marked routes. However, the bike path will lead you through the most typical nature of this park.
At the beginning you can ride through the long park in the town center (point 2 to 3). After you ride down and across the river Dyje, make sure to look up to see panorama of Znojmo Castle standing there since the year 1055 – obviously in much different shape. You definitely should not skip the little side trip to point 4, where you will see what this park is all about – deep, heavily forested, canyon of the river. It is quite a difference from the views you had riding along the border of the park before this point. You may even think about forgetting about the bikes and walk along the yellow tourist mark back to the town. Well, you can always do it in the next day.
After you cross Dyje at point 6 over nicely shaky cable bridge, get ready for the most difficult ride uphill from 7 to 8. We saw some bikers even walking the bike uphill here. At point 8, however, you can have a rest and can taste the local wines from the winery Šobes – very unusual, winery in the middle of the national park. However, from 1st of October, the tasting hut is open only on the weekends. When you reach the point 10, make an important decision – do you want to do this 4 km side trip, or not. It all depends on the day of the week. The “Nový hrádek” castle ruin at the end of this side trip is open only on the weekends, and without entering the castle, you can forget about the nice view from it. On the other hand you should not miss the point 15 with the pretty wooden observation deck.
At point 17 you may choose to follow our route through quite tricky route downhill, or you can follow the normal road and enter the valley after sharp right turn of the road following the blue tourist mark. You can easily miss the point 17, it is just a little opening in the road guard rails. The path through the valley of Gránický potok is a tranquil educational path created for children’s entertainment. The greatest attraction is a giant newt (about the size of newts from Čapek’s famous book War with the Newts, see the picture below). By the way, in this valley is the hotel “Spálený mlýn”, where you can stay if you want absolute quietness in the night – it is far from any source of noise, and it has a good restaurant.
The last part from the road along the river to point 20 is actually rideable (with small interruptions), but make sure that you do not endanger anybody.